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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16164: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has undertaken regarding any income disparity between university and high school graduates.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 10 May 2018

The Scottish Government has examined published literature across the UK on returns to education (February 2017).

The findings from the published literature reported that:

  • Generally, wage returns are found to increase as higher levels of education are attained. Possession of an undergraduate degree typically offers an individual a greater wage premium than a further, vocational, or apprenticeship qualification.
  • On average, all forms of education are estimated to realise positive wage returns. However, the size of these returns varies according to factors such as gender, the subject of study and the type of institution/qualification.
  • A person with an undergraduate degree is expected to earn 27 per cent more, on average, over their lifetime compared to if their highest level attainment were two or more GCE 'A' Levels.